How to Send Reminders in Office 365 With JungleMail

If you are using SharePoint to manage your business data, there are multiple scenarios where you might want to have reminders sent to your email. For example, a notification along with an email on upcoming staff birthdays or expiring contract might be very useful.

One of the quickest ways to create reminders for SharePoint items is by using Microsoft Flow. First, you need to add a “Date and Time” column to the list. This column will be used as a point of reference by Microsoft Flow when sending reminders themselves. Now, when you have this column in place, all you need to do is right-click on the item, then click Flow > Set a reminder > [Column name].

In the pop-up window you will also be able to specify how many days in advance you want to receive reminders. The resulting email will look something like this:

Needless to say, this reminder functionality is only sufficient for the simplest of tasks. For example, in the case of birthday reminders, you will need to manually change the date itself every year. There is also no option to add a description or to modify the reminder design in any way. Now, let’s see how you can do all of that and more with our email tool for SharePoint Online.

Creating Reminders with JungleMail for Office 365

To be fair, JungleMail was primarily built to send email campaigns, not reminders. However, with a few tweaks it can become a powerful notification tool. Take a look at the two examples below.

#1: Configuring Birthday Reminders

The idea behind this tutorial is to set up yearly email reminders for upcoming staff birthdays when the employee data along with their birthdates are stored in a SharePoint list.

1. Create a SharePoint list with “Date and Time” type column. In our example, this column is called Birthdate.

2. Add a “Calculated” type column to the list. This column is needed to automatically extract month and day values from the Birthdate column. By removing the year values from the column, you will not need to update it every year. Later we will configure JungleMail to look at this column and check if it’s time to send a reminder. Here’s the result:

To add such a column, go to List Settings > Create Column. Enter a column name, select the “Calculated” type and insert this formula:

=MONTH(Birthdate)&"-"&DAY(Birthdate)

To explain this particular formula syntax would take a separate article, so just bear with us here – or, if you‘re interested, read more about writing calculated field formulas.

3. Launch JungleMail for Office 365 and select a template. You can select from the template library or create a new one from scratch. This template will be used for email reminders.

4. Configure dynamic content. In the template, we‘ll create two different content blocks: one for displaying the date and another for retrieving from SharePoint the name or names of employees who celebrate their birthday on this date.

Note: if you‘re new to JungleMail, please read more about creating dynamic content in our documentation or in this blog post.

Here are the formulas we used in the content blocks:

  • {FormatDate(Today;"dddd, d MMMM")} – inserts today‘s date (learn more about JungleMail date formatting syntax in our documentation).
  • {S:[First Name]} {S:[Last Name]}­ – retrieves from the SharePoint list the first and the last name of the person whose birthday it is today.

This is what a template with formulas looks like in our case:

5. Configure sending conditions. We want JungleMail to check if the BirthCustom column value matches today‘s date (in other words, if it‘s someone‘s birthday today) and only send a reminder if it does. The formula for the date itself is FormatDate(Today; "M-d").

Finally, under Do not send email if result is, select Is Empty. Here‘s the configuration of the dynamic section:

And here‘s the result we‘re looking for, as displayed in the Preview step of the campaign:

Note that in the example the reminder is sent on the same day as the birthday. If you want to be reminded one day in advance, you need to modify the condition formula to FormatDate(Today+1; "M-d").

Now, let‘s see how you can use the same principles to create email reminders for expiring product subscriptions.

#2: Creating Retention Reminders

SharePoint is arguably one of the best tools around to store and manage client data, including information about contracts or subscriptions and their expiration dates. If you’re a sales manager or a business owner, being notified in advance that a subscription is coming to an end certainly helps ensure great customer service. In this example, we demonstrate how you can use JungleMail for Office 365 as a retention reminder tool.

1.  Create a SharePoint list with customer and product data. This list should contain company name, product name or version, expiration date and other information relevant for you.

2. Launch JungleMail for Office 365 and specify recipients. Contrary to birthday reminders sent to everyone, you want retention notifications to be sent to you only (or other employees in charge of retention management). Configure the Recipients step accordingly.

3. Select a JungleMail template and configure dynamic content. Here, we went for a clean and simple design. Similarly to the previous example, first we created a dynamic section with several content blocks inside. Then we configured those blocks to retrieve metadata from certain columns in the SharePoint list.

4. Specify sending conditions. Since we wanted to get the reminder a week before the expiration date, the formula was FormatDate(Today+7; "M-d").

And here’s the result, as displayed in Outlook:

As you can see, configuring JungleMail to send reminders for SharePoint items is relatively easy and can be tremendously useful. If you‘ve been using this tool already, we hope this post will provide you some new ideas. And if you‘re new to SharePoint, give JungleMail for Office 365 a try!

 


EnovaPoint Team Thomas Knabikas
EnovaPoint